October 27, 2019 / 12:58 AM / 8 months ago

Looming storm could cloud NWSL's day in the sun

FILE PHOTO: Oct 6, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; the United States midfielder Julie Ertz (8) dribbles the ball while South Korea defender Lee Eun-mi (2) defends in the first half during a USA Women's National Soccer Team Victory Tour at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

CARY, North Carolina (Reuters) - The sun shone brightly on defending champions North Carolina Courage and challengers Chicago Red Stars as they put in their final pre-championship training on Saturday, but a looming storm threatened to put a soggy end to the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season.

With the National Weather Service predicting a chance for strong thunderstorms in the area surrounding Cary, North Carolina’s WakeMed Soccer Park on Sunday, fans and players alike faced the possibility of a delay to the championship match.

Even so, players said they were taking the forecast in stride.

“The only people worried are the ones probably not from here,” quipped North Carolina Courage striker Crystal Dunn, whose team is playing in their third straight final since its relocation. “We’re used to weather delays, we’re used to lightning, thunderstorms.”

Of course, if the predicted lightning fails to come through and it is only rain with which the players must contend, Red Stars midfielder Julie Ertz told reporters her team will be ready.

“We thoroughly love – for some reason – rain games,” said Ertz.

Reporting By Amy Tennery in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Sandra Maler

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